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Sportswriters show newswriters how to compete: Higher salaries will now come from opinion/style rather than objectivity 12/26/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Salaries, Sportswriting.

Something quite remarkable is now happening during these otherwise gloomy days in journalism – some sportswriters are being snatched away from Old Media newspapers and are being paid 2-3 times what they had been making. The NY Times reports that ESPN, Yahoo Sports, and Sports Illustrated are raiding talent with offers that newspapers cannot match.

The fact that this is happening in sports and not general news is no coincidence. Sportswriting is not a commodity – it is laden with opinion, insight and style, and readers often feel a bond with particular writers they like, trust, and respect. A century ago, newswriting was not a commodity either, but that was before the Modern Journalism movement turned it into one. It transformed journalism from a rough-and-tumble craft practiced by colorful figures into a faux-science allegedly delivering verified, unbiased truths. As a result, reporters are now largely indistinguishable, and their work often ranges from sky-is-falling to scolding to dull. Newswriters who wish to enjoy the thrill of more money and avoid the agony of defeat are well-advised to remove Modern Journalism from their playbook.


1. More on opinion in news « My Musings 2.0 - 12/27/07

[…] on opinion in news Jump to Comments Steve Boriss wrote an interesting blog post about sports writers and how they’re being hired for large sums. All the while, news reporters are a dime a dozen […]

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